While controversy has erupted over Starlink- the satellite internet division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX for onboarding customers without obtaining any relevant authorization from the government for providing satellite broadband services in the country, Sanjay Bhargava Country Director and Chairman of the Board of Starlink India has stepped down after a brief stint of 2 months. Bhargave boarded as India’s head on October 1, 2021.
Bhargava announced the resignation in a Linkedin post amidst Starlinlk’s announcement on initiating refund for around 7,000 individuals in the country for their pre-orders.
“I have stepped down as Country Director and Chairman of the Board of Starlink India for personal reasons. My last working day was December 31, 2021. I will have no comments for individuals and media so please respect my privacy,” Bhargava said in the LinkedIn post.
In another cryptic LinkedIn post, Bhargava quoted Boby Dylan. “I could say the answer of why I stepped down is blowing in the wind but the answer is in this poem that follows,” he said.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked Starlink to get the necessary permission that is required to offer satellite-based internet services in the country.
Bhargava in his LinkedIn post has said that the company will apply for a commercial license in India by January 31, 2022.
“We hope to have applied for a commercial license on or before 31st January 2022 (unless we hit some major roadblock). We felt it would be useful to prepare two guides that help in thinking about and planning for Starlink – one for Individuals and the Private Sector (https://lnkd.in/d8Jhj7km) and one for State And Union Territories (https://lnkd.in/daqeS79w). For a lot of users, Starlink makes sense. Our goal is to provide context for how Starlink could be a great fit for connectivity in numerous situations. A 100% Broadband India will require collaboration across stakeholders, service providers, and technologies, and we encourage everyone to think about their use cases and develop connectivity plans for districts as well as private use. There are currently unknowns on when you may get your Starlink – but please pay careful consideration to whether Starlink could just be the broadband solution you need,” he said in the LinkedIn post.
Bhargava’s resignation comes at a critical juncture where Starlink India is yet to sort out the licensing and authorization in the country. With refunds being initiated and as the company doesn’t have clarity on the timeline for receiving licenses to operate, Elon Musk’s maiden India venture is facing an uncertain future.